Spirits, Spells, and Snark
by Kelly McCullough
Feiwel and Friends, HB $17.99, 316 pages
also available in Kindle
Published: January 2019
In this fast-paced sequel to Magic, Madness, and Mischief, elemental magics and their personifications take each other on in an epic struggle over whether or not one Element will dominate all the others. Kalvan Monroe is still just beginning to figure out how to manage his own fire powers. Fortunately, he has a flaming familiar to advise him, his best friend Dave is in on the secret of his elemental abilities, and his visiting aunt Noelle, come to be a caretaker for Kal's unwell mother, has powers of her own, including the extraordinary one of compassion.
Kal learns something vital when he enters into a temporary truce with his nemesis, Josh, who has managed to bully Kal at school for years, despite The Free School of Saint Paul's progressive guidelines. And then there is the mystery of a shape-changing coyote who may or may not take an interest in the seasonal transition of power that is supposed to happen during Solstice. Kal is trying to prevent the Winter King from making himself King, period. Not only would that have devastating consequences for the whole earth, it would be personally highly unpleasant, since the personification of Winter's King is Kal's least favorite person in the entire world.
Told with sensitive appreciation for the heartbreak felt by anyone who has to deal with a close relative's struggle with insanity, this is a wise and wonderful story . - Chris Wozney